Judgment Year: Aaron Judge on Pace for Greatest Rookie Season Ever

Updated on July 12, 2017
Source

The All-Star break is upon us, the nominal halfway point of the season (although all teams have already played more than half their games.) One of the biggest stories of the first half, of course, is the rookie season of Aaron Judge.

Heading into the All-Star Game, Judge is leading all of baseball with 30 homers, on base percentage at .448, slugging at .691, and OPS at 1.139. He is second in runs at 75 (one behind George Springer) and second in the American League in RBIs at 66 (four behind Nelson Cruz). He is batting .329, third best in the AL, and has 99 hits, ninth in the AL. He leads the AL in walks with 61. Perhaps as impressive as any stat is that when he makes contact, his batting average is .516, which pretty much negates the fact that he’s also struck out 109 times.

Already Among the Elite

So just how good is his season? Well, if he stopped right now, his homer, RBI, and run totals already make this one of the 23 best rookie seasons ever. Only 22 other rookies have ever had 30-plus homers, 75-plus runs, and 66-plus RBIs. And they all did that over a full season.

Rookies with at least 30 HR, 75 R, 66 RBI

Player
Year
HR
R
RBI
G
Mark McGwire, A's
1987
49
97
118
151
Frank Robinson, Reds.
1956
38
122
83
152
Wally Berger, Braves
1930
38
98
119
151
Albert Pujols, Cards
2001
37
112
130
161
Al Rosen, Indians
1950
37
100
116
155
Jose Abreu, White Sox
2014
36
80
107
145
Mike Piazza, Dodgers
1993
35
81
112
149
Ron Kittle, White Sox
1983
35
75
100
145
Hal Trosky, Indians
1934
35
117
142
154
Ryan Braun, Brewers
2007
34
91
97
113
Walt Dropo, Red Sox
1950
34
101
144
136
Jose Canseco, A's
1986
33
85
117
157
Jimmie Hall, Twins
1963
33
88
80
156
Chris Young, Diamondbacks
2007
32
85
68
148
Tony Oliva, Twins
1964
32
109
94
161
Tim Salmon, Angels
1993
31
93
95
142
Ted Williams, Red Sox
1939
31
131
145
149
Aaron Judge, Yankees
2017
30
75
66
84
Mike Trout, Angels
2012
30
129
83
139
Nomar Garciaparra, Red Sox
1997
30
122
98
153
Pete Incaviglia, Rangers
1986
30
82
88
153
Willie Montanez, Phillies
1971
30
78
99
158
Bob Allison, Senators
1959
30
83
85
149
Players who have hit 30-plus homers, with 75-plus runs and 66-plus RBIs, with number of game it took to accomplish it.

Add in his walks, and you’ll find only 10 other rookies have ever had at least 30, 75, 66, and 61. Only one other of those players has hit as high as .329 while doing that (Albert Pujols).

Rookies with at least 30 HR, 75 R, 66 RBI, 61 BB

Player
Year
HR
R
RBI
BB
Ted Williams, Red Sox
1939
31
131
145
107
Al Rosen, Indians
1950
37
100
116
100
Tim Salmon, Angels
1993
31
93
95
82
Mark McGwire, A's
1987
49
97
118
71
Albert Pujols, Cards
2001
37
112
130
69
Mike Trout, Angels
2012
30
129
83
67
Willie Montanez, Phillies
1971
30
78
99
67
Jose Canseco, A's
1986
33
85
117
65
Frank Robinson, Reds
1956
38
122
83
64
Jimmie Hall, Twins
1963
33
88
80
63
Aaron Judge, Yankees
2017
30
75
66
61
Rookies who had 30-plus homers, 75-plus runs, 66-plus RBIs and 61-plus walks.

One of the Best Seasons Ever?

What happens if Judge continues at the same pace the rest of the season? Something pretty awesome. He played in 84 of the Yankees first 86 games. The team has 76 games remaining, so say he plays in 74 of those. At the same pace he’s currently playing at, he’ll wind up with this incredible stat line:

143 runs, 56 homers, 124 RBIs, 115 walks, .328 BA, .447 OBP, .684 slugging, 1.131 OPS.

That would qualify as one of the six best stat lines of all time, rookie or veteran (move his batting average up one tick to .329 and it’s one of the top five).

Could Judge Join This Elite Group?

Players
Year
HR
R
RBI
BA
Sammy Sosa, Cubs
2001
64
146
160
.328
Babe Ruth, Yankees
1927
60
158
165
.356
Babe Ruth, Yankees
1921
59
177
168
.378
Jimmie Foxx, A's
1932
58
151
169
.364
Hack Wilson, Cubs
1930
56
146
191
.356
The only players ever to hit 56-plus homers, with 143-plus runs, 124-plus RBIs and .328 or better batting average.

Even if Judge Slumps, Could Still be Best Rookie Season Ever

While Yankee fans would obviously love to see that season become reality, the truth is that Judge probably won’t keep that up. Many players, and especially rookies, have second half slumps. So let’s take a look to see what would happen if Judge doesn’t quite live up to the first half. Obviously, all numbers I’m using are conjecture, but have a basis on what he did the first half with a corresponding decrease in production.

Suppose he slumps to hit only .275 after the All-Star break, a decrease of 54 percentage points. Correspondingly, he hits only 20 more homers, scores just 50 more runs, and has just 45 more RBIs. Since he’s slumping he drops in walks as well to 48. Where does that leave him?

His final season line will be .303, 125 runs, 111 RBIs, 109 walks, .418 OBP, .614 slugging, 1.032 OPS. That would be the best season ever by a rookie (even disregarding homers, it would be the third best behind Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio).

OK, so let’s assume he really slumps. Let’s say he hits only .250 after the break. He hits just 15 more homers, scores 45 more runs with 40 more RBIs, and walks only 42 more times. Quite a drop off from the first half. Where does that leave him for the season?

His final line would show a .291 batting average, with 45 homers, 120 runs, 106 RBIs and 103 walks, .402 OBP, .573 slugging and a .975 OPS. Still results in the best rookie season ever (take out homers and it’s still third best behind Williams and DiMaggio).

In other words, even if Judge performs rather poorly after the All-Star break, he is still going to have the best rookie season ever. Only if he collapses completely to the point they’ll have to send him back to the minors will he not have the best rookie season ever. Then it probably would only be in the top 5.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      12 months ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Baseball definitely needs a super duper star. So I hope he keeps it up. And I can hardly wait for next year and this Japanese Babe Ruth fella :) Not that I'm in a hurry for this year to be over.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://howtheyplay.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)